Canal Irrigation


A canal is defined as an artificial channel
constructed on the ground to carry water from
a river or another canal or a reservoir to the

Pranamesh Chakraborty

Types of Canals

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Types of Canals

• Continuous source of water
Permanent supply.
Canal • Also called perennial canals

Inundation • Draws its supplies from a river
only during the high stages of
Canal the river.

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Canal • Used to carry water for Power Canal generation of hydroelectricity. Note. Feeder Canal • Feeds two or more canals. Types of Canals (BASED ON FUNCTION) Irrigation • Carries water from its source to Canal agricultural fields. Navigation • Used for transport of goods. a canal can serve more than one purpose. Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Types of Canals (BASED ON ALIGNMENT) Watershed Canal or Ridge Canal Contour Canal Side Slope Canal Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Watershed canal or Ridge canal Pranamesh Chakraborty .

there is the main watershed (ridge line).  Thus between two major streams.Watershed canal or Ridge canal (Contd. Pranamesh Chakraborty . which divides the drainage area of the two streams.) The dividing ridge line between the catchment areas of two streams (drains) is called the watershed or ridge canal.

Aligning a canal (main canal or branch canal or distributary) on the ridge ensures gravity irrigation on both sides of the canal. no drainage can cross a canal aligned on the ridge. or a ridge canal.Watershed canal or Ridge canal (Contd. a canal aligned on the watershed saves the cost of construction of cross-drainage works. Pranamesh Chakraborty .) The canal which is aligned along any natural watershed (ridge line) is called a watershed canal. Thus.  Since the drainage flows away from the ridge.

Watershed canal or Ridge canal (Contd.) Pranamesh Chakraborty .

the river flows in the valley well below the watershed. In fact. contour canals are usually constructed. In hills. Contour Canal Watershed canal along the ridge line are not found economical in hill areas. A contour canal irrigates only on one side because the area on the other side is higher. Pranamesh Chakraborty . the ridge line (watershed) may be hundred of meters above the river. It therefore becomes virtually impossible to take the canal on top of such a higher ridge line. In such conditions.

) Pranamesh Chakraborty .Contour Canal (Contd.

Pranamesh Chakraborty . Since such a canal runs parallel to the natural drainage flow. thus avoiding the construction of cross-drainage structures. it usually does not intercept drainage channels. i. along the side slopes. Side Slope Canal A side slope canal is that which is aligned at right angles to the contours.e. It is a canal which is aligned roughly at right angle to contours of the country but not on watershed or valley.

Side Slope Canal (Contd.) Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Types of Canals (BASED ON DISCHARGE) Main Canal Branch Canal Major Distributary Minor Distributary Water Course Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Usually no direct cultivation is proposed Pranamesh Chakraborty .MAIN CANAL Main Canal takes off directly from the upstream side of weir head works or dam.

The Danube-Black Sea Canal in Romania .

BRANCH CANAL All offtakes from main canal with head discharge of 14-15 cumecs and above are termed as branch canals. Acts as feeder channel for major distributaries Pranamesh Chakraborty .


MINOR DISTRIBUTARY  All offtakes taking off from a major distributary carrying discharge less than 0.25 to 15 cumecs are termed as major distributaries.25 cumec are termed as minor distributaries WATER COURSE  Small channels which carry water from the outlets of a major or minor distributary or a branch canal to the fields to be irrigated. Pranamesh Chakraborty . MAJOR DISTRIBUTARY  All offtakes from main canal or branch canal with head discharge from 0.

Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Types of Canals (Based on lining provided or not) • Bed and banks made up of natural soil. etc. concrete. Canal brick or burnt clay tile. • Water velocities higher than 0.7 m/s are not Unlined tolerable.g. • Profuse growth of aquatic weeds retards the flow . boulder. Canal • High seepage and conveyance water losses. Lined • Different types of lining used e. Pranamesh Chakraborty . • Lining of impervious material on its bed and banks to prevent the seepage of water.



Cross-Section of Irrigation Canal Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Pranamesh Chakraborty . NSL=Natural Surface Level This section is partly in cutting and partly in filling and aims in balancing the quantity of earth work in excavation with that in filling. Introduction FSL= Full Supply Level.

when the NSL is lower than the bed level of the canal. and it shall be called ‘canal in cutting’. Introduction When the NSL is above the top of the bank. Similarly. Pranamesh Chakraborty . the entire canal section will have to be built in filling. the entire canal section will have to be in cutting. and it is called ‘canal in filling’.

Components of Cross.Section  Side slope  Berm  Freeboard  Bank  Service road  Spoil Bank  Borrow Pit Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Pranamesh Chakraborty . A comparatively steeper slope can be provided in cutting rather than in filling. depending upon the type of the soil. as the soil in the former case shall be more stable. Side Slope The side slopes should be such that they are stable.

Pranamesh Chakraborty . Berm Berm is the horizontal distance left at ground level between the toe of the bank and the top edge of cutting.

 They provide a scope for future widening of the canal. Berm (contd. Pranamesh Chakraborty .  They protect the banks from erosion due to wave action.) Purposes of Berms:  They give additional strength to the banks and provide protection against erosion and breaches.

The amount of freeboard depends upon the discharge of the channel. Pranamesh Chakraborty . Freeboard The margin between FSL and bank level is known as freeboard.

Bank The primary purpose of banks in to retain water. Pranamesh Chakraborty . This can be used as means of communication and as inspection paths.

are provided along the banks. Pranamesh Chakraborty . Service Road Service roads are provided on canals for inspection purposes. dowlas with side slopes of 1.5: 1 to 2:1. Dowla: As a measure of safety in driving. and may simultaneously serve as the means of communication in remote areas.

Pranamesh Chakraborty . Economical mode of its disposal may be collecting this soil on the edge of the bank embankment itself. Spoil Bank When the earthwork in excavation exceeds earthworks in filling. the extra earth has to be disposed of economically.

Types of losses of water in canals Loss of water in canal Evaporation Seepage Loss Loss Percolation Absorption Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Evaporation Loss The water lost by evaporation is generally very small. Evaporation Loss are generally 2-3% of total loss (max. 7% in summer) Pranamesh Chakraborty . as compared to seepage loss.

Seepage Loss Percolation: In percolation. Pranamesh Chakraborty . there exist a zone of continuous saturation from canal to water table and direct flow is established.

Seepage Loss Percolation: Almost all water lost from canal reaches ground water reservoir. . Loss of water depends on the difference of the top water surface level of channel and level of water-table.

Seepage Loss Absorption: In absorption. A certain zone just above water table is saturated by capillarity. a small saturated zone exist round the canal section and is surrounded by zone of decreasing saturation. Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Seepage Loss Absorption: Thus. there exists an unsaturated soil zone between two saturated zones. Pranamesh Chakraborty . This result in seepage loss.

Canal Lining Pranamesh Chakraborty .

or even standing water on adjacent fields or roads.  No seepage of water into adjacent land or roads: If canal banks are highly permeable. the seepage of water will cause very wet or waterlogged conditions. Lining of such a canal can solve this problem. Pranamesh Chakraborty . Advantages of Lining  Water Conservation: Lining a canal results in reduction in water losses. as water losses in unlined irrigation canals can be high.

Advantages of Lining (Contd.  Minor repairs like plugging of cracks. and thus the flow velocity will be higher in the lined canal . uneven settlements of banks. etc. with the higher velocity. the canal cross-section for a lined canal can be smaller than that of an unlined canal.) Reduced canal dimensions: The resistance to flow of a lined canal is less than that of an unlined canal. Pranamesh Chakraborty .  Periodical removal of silt deposited on the beds and sides of canals.  Removal of weeds and water canals. Therefore.  Reduced maintenance: Maintenance costs for the following issues are eliminated using lining of canals.

Types of lining Hard Surface Lining Earth Type Lining Cast Insitu Cement Compacted Earth Concrete Lining Lining Shotcrete or Plastic Soil Cement Lining Lining Cement Concrete Tile Lining or Brick Lining Asphaltic Concrete Lining Boulder Lining Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Cast In-Situ Concrete Lining Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Thank You Pranamesh Chakraborty .